Community members concerned about youth violence

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 12:06 AM EST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Community leaders are disappointed with the number of youth involved in violent crimes across the city.

They said they have to continue their efforts to combat this rising number.

During a news conference Tuesday, police said a number of violent crimes are gang-related and youth between 13 and 20 are involved.

“It makes me sad to know that is happening,” said Hannah Caddy, executive director for City Youth Ministries.

City Youth Ministries began more than 20 years ago in Jonesboro to help youth in the community.

Right now, their work is more important than ever.

Caddy said their goal is to be an open door for youth.

“At the end of the day what we do at City Youth and what so many other community programs are trying to do is provide education, empathy, and a safe haven for our kids,” said Caddy.

According to FBI data since 2010, 21 percent of the offenders of violent crimes in Craighead County are between the ages of 10 through 19.

FBI Little Rock has a series of safe street task forces across the state.

One right here in Jonesboro.

It works with the local agencies to find out what is driving the crime and then work to stop it.

Caddy said they couldn’t do it alone youth need the community’s help.

“I think when youth are given support and education they have the opportunity to make the best possible choice,” she said.

Because, even according to those tasked with combating crime, solving the problem requires a community that works together.

I also spoke with Emma Agnew, President of the Craighead County Branch of the NAACP.

She agreed with the work to help the youth will take the entire community.

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